A few weeks ago we discussed the Doctrine of Divine Jealousy on Sunday morning. The Bible is extremely clear that God is a Jealous God and in fact God Himself states that He is so jealous that His name is Jealous (Ex. 34). One would think that such a reality and clear teaching of Scripture and the gospel would lead to a greater conversation and development of the subject and doctrine. However, in my study and research into this subject I was shocked to find that very little has been developed in depth. Certainly a lot of theology books and pages discuss God's jealousy, but it seemed no one was willing to really go into any depth. Of all the books in the world I found just one book (though there may be more) on the subject of God's jealousy and that book is Godly Jealousy: A Theology of Intolerant Love by K. Erik Thoennes.
I loved this book. So much so that its two main premises became foundational for the sermon I preached on the subject. Thoennes proves that God's jealousy is foundational to our Scriptural understanding of God and His nature would be incomplete unless He were jealous. Thoennes offers hundreds, if not thousands, of Scriptural references, quotes, and exegesis to prove his point.
There are basically two aspects of God's jealousy, both connected together. First, as the author points out, is that God is jealous for His own glory. The author goes through a lot of detail and proof to make his point and one cannot read the Bible without coming to this conclusion. The reason God created and continues to act in His creation is to ensure His glory in the end. The second aspect of His jealousy regards idolatry. Oftentimes in Scripture God's jealousy is mentioned in responded to clear idolatry of His people. Why is God jealous towards those who worship other God's? For two main reasons: 1) God seeks to His own glory and does not want to be robbed of His own glory, and 2) God is love. If God was not jealous, He would not be loving and this explains why so many passages link idolatry to spiritual adultery.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It is thorough and it is exactly what I was looking for. No one has written on the subject like Thoennes and for that I am very grateful. I would not have understood the subject as well if it had not been for this book. So if you want to know more about God and the doctrine of His jealousy, turn here. In fact, this is about the only place to turn, but still worth it nonetheless.